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Oakland lifts century-old ban on cross-dressing

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Not content to let sleeping laws lie, the Oakland City Council is moving to strike a 130-year-old ordinance that bans cross-dressing in public.

The council voted 7-0 on Tuesday to remove the ban from the city’s municipal code. A second vote, which is needed to seal the repeal, is scheduled for May 18.

The ordinance, adopted in 1879, bans people from dressing “in the attire of a person of the opposite sex.”

Officials say the law is little known and never enforced.

But Rebecca Kaplan, the council member who proposed the repeal, says such laws have a history of being used as tools of oppression against the gay, lesbian and transgender community.

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